Streetside Classics-Dallas/Fort Worth
5400 Sandshell Dr
Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth, TX
Almost everyone says they want a Chevelle, but the cars we have the most difficulty keeping in stock are under $40k muscle cars like this very solid 1972 Oldsmobile Cutlass 442 Tribute. Dressed in classic high-impact colors and offering up a fantastic blend of vintage performance and luxury, it's no surprise that these muscle car Cuttys are gaining traction as some of the best collector cars to own. But bonafide 'car guys' aren't the only ones taking more notice, as surging sales of vintage Cutlass' are proof that they're fully entrenched as favorites for regular guys that want something cooler than just another Chevelle.
While all the A-bodies shared some underpinnings, somehow the Olds got the most dramatic sheetmetal, with that seductive kick-up behind the doors and a dynamic sweeping front end. Originally Code 65 Flame Orange (a mix of orange and red), the shade it now wears is a brighter red, one that turns heads and certainly helps emphasize the car's finer points, because as we all know, it's nearly impossible to hide bad bodywork under bright paint. The work was finished a few years back and shows some signs of use, but still looks great today, making this the kind of car that stands out without making a spectacle of itself. Instead, onlookers will surely appreciate the great shine of the finish, the painted-on black 442 hood stripes on the Ram Air hood, and the slick hardtop roof that wasn't subdued in the factory by a vinyl top. Twin grilles up front have an intricate egg crate pattern, a theme that is echoed in the taillight lenses, the big 442 deck lid spoiler looks primed for battle, and all the correct 442 badges have been installed where they belong, so despite this being a tribute, this Olds looks just about the way GM intended. Fore and aft are bright 442 bumpers, with dual trumpet exhaust tips poking out of the rear to complete the killer look.
Oldsmobiles always looked like luxury cars inside, where black vinyl bucket seats and woodgrain trim add to the upscale atmosphere inside this Cutty. The upholstery is almost certainly original and even though it shows signs of use the seats have held up well, which is thanks to a combination of durable materials and excellent care throughout the years. The carpets are fresher pieces that are unfaded, and the wood applique on the dash, door panels, and backseat side panels add a touch of sophistication to this muscle car's cabin. Sure, you could opt for a restoration inside and the cost wouldn't be exorbitant by any means (Oldsmobile parts are easily sourced these days thanks to the popularity of these cars), but a few replacement parts and a deep cleaning would bring things up a notch as well. This car was born with factory air, and although most of the system components were removed years ago, all the dash plumbing and stock gauges are still in place, so switching back would be much easier and cheaper than starting from scratch. The story's the same for the missing original radio, where the factory dash slot is just begging for one of those cool Retro-Sound units to slide right in and provide the tunes. All the factory gauges are inside their proper bezels and present well, and the four-spoke Olds steering wheel looks right in place atop the factory column. Splitting the front buckets is a factory middle console that is also adorned with wood grain applique, and it houses the shifter for the TH350 automatic transmission below. Open the spacious trunk out back and you'll see that the space could easily handle just about any cross-country trip.
Power comes from a stout 455 cubic inch Oldsmobile V8 under the hood, which wasn't what this particular Cutty was born with (it was born with a 350 4-barrel), but this big block was easily THE motor to have if you wanted to plant big power. Presented just like the factory would've intended, it's wearing Oldsmobile Gold paint and a few correct maintenance parts, it's a fun, reliable, and torquey powerplant that suits this coupe quite well. The car has been sitting in the garage for a while so it could use a tune-up before it goes on an extended drive, but after a routine service she should be able to eat up lots of miles with ease. The engine bay is very solid, anchored by that awesome Olds air cleaner you see incorporated for high-end streetrod builds these days, and it includes a 4-barrel carburetor and Ram Air intake up top for optimum air flow into the big block. Options include power steering and power front disc brakes, and the engine burbles through stock exhaust manifolds that feed a dual exhaust and factory-style chambered mufflers. It's linked to a quick-shifting TH350 3-speed automatic transmission and a heavy-duty 10-bolt rear end, so the powertrain is reliable and durable. The floors are very original but solid, there are two big sway bars fore and aft, and the car sits on stock mag wheels with 245/60/14 white-letter p
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